We Ask 10 Questions For High-End
During Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various high-end audio manufacturers to answer the same ten questions. Their answers may surprise you! This month we're featuring Hideto Watanabe, Senior Manager, Home Audio Business, of Eclipse TD. Eclipse TD's goal was 'Accurate reproduction of waveforms. Comparing an audio device to a camera lens, the ideal one is transparent, to accurately reproduce the original colors (sound). This 'transparent lens' may be translated into 'impulse response is close to impulse' as explained in acoustic engineering theory. Adoption of egg-shaped rounded form that is rigid and has no duplication of identical surface radius, instead of a square-shaped box form, which is one of the causes of sound waveform disturbance. This form controls internal standing waves and gives a diffraction effect along the edge of speaker front panel, enabling more accurate reproduction of a sound waveform.
Their driver is compact, light, rigid, and uses a diaphragm with appropriate internal loss. In addition, an installed powerful magnetic circuit enables quick and accurate stroke that is hard for a large-aperture speaker to achieve. Continuously adjusting the speaker angle allows you to set the listening point more precisely it also provides more flexibility to adjust speaker setting according to its environment, resulting in more precise reproduction of the original spatial information.
Q. What is your first memory of falling in love with music?
A. It was listening to my father's vinyl of Night of Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky and Toy Symphony by Haydn, I was eight or nine years old. He played these and I was fascinated with the sound and also the imagery which the sound projected inside me.
Q. How did you first get introduced to high-fidelity audio gear?
A. It would have been my father's system, mentioned above, but I don't remember too well as I was into the music itself rather than the gear.
Then, when I was 10 years old, I had a classmate who was completely hookedon Yellow Magic Orchestra. He invited me to his home to listen to a new release of YMO and played it on a Sony system called 'Heli Compo', it looked so cool!
Q. What is your favorite piece of vintage hi-fi, and why?
A. A ladybird-shaped record player which I had when I was little. It was something for every household at that time (early 1970s) in Japan. It was simple and so easy to use, even for a four- to five-year-old; chosen for nothing other than nostalgia!
Q. When did you decide to start a high-end audio company?
A. In 2001. I had been an orchestra recording coordinator and director before and I was headhunted after doing research for Eclipse who, at that time, were new to the market.
Q. What, and when, was your company's first product?
A. A speaker called the 512 (pictured above) and an integrated power amplifier called the A502, released in Japan in April 2001 and January 2002 in UK.
Q. What challenges did you face during those early years?
A. All our speakers are full-range. We had received great reviews, thankfully, from day one, but it took a long time to be accepted and trusted in the market place, especially in the global market (outside of our homeland in Japan).
Q. How have your products evolved over the years?
A. We have focused on improving and overcoming the limitations of full range-drivers, which are loudness and FQ band, without using DSP/EQ technology, but just hardware improvements.
Q. What is your company's most popular product(s)?
A. Our TD508MK3 speaker, which is a great model to experience the beauty of what a full- range drive unit speaker can do, at a good price.
Q. What is your next planned product offering and its' features?
A. Prefer not to comment.
Q. What advancements do you speculate high-end audio will offer ten years from now?
A. The true meaning of fidelity in sound will grow and be appreciated by a wider audience of music lovers.